Olsen broke the fifth metatarsal on his right foot during the second quarter of Sunday's 9-3 win against Buffalo. He underwent surgery on Monday.
He is eligible to return to the active roster after eight weeks. That would put him on schedule to possibly play in a Nov. 26 game at the New York Jets.
Teams are allowed to bring two players back from IR during the season.
Team trainer Ryan Vermillion told the team website that Olsen had a screw inserted to repair the fracture.
"The only thing that he has to do now is heal," Vermillion said. "I know Greg will be around and he'll be involved. He's a team guy. He'll try to do everything he can to help this team continue to win."
Olsen in 2016 became the first tight end in NFL history to record three straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons. The Panthers before this season added incentives for receptions, receiving yards and postseason accolades to Olsen's contract that would pay him an additional $2 million if he met all of them. That seems unlikely with the missed time.
Carolina promoted fullback Alex Armah from the practice squad to fill Olsen's roster spot. The sixth-round pick out of West Georgia can play fullback and H-back.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.